Hazel is eleven months old. Can you believe it? Neither can I. Every month I planned to write what cool new developmental milestone she had hit, but I didn't. There was a lot of stuff that I wanted to write but didn't. I hope that I will never forget it, but I know I will. I figured that I would take the time now to write a little bit about the Things Hazel Has Learned in these past eleven months- the culmination of all those neural pathways strengthening and paring away, all the practice and teaching and nutrition and sleeping. I try to get pictures and video of these little things before they slip away or morph into something else more "sophisticated" (whatever that means), but Hazel can hear the camera turn on from a mile away and come rushing up into the lens before I can get a shot. That is why I have had fewer pictures to post. It's certainly not for lack of trying. Every time I download a batch of pictures to the computer, I end up deleting about two thirds of them! It's too bad, because I want to have some sort of record of all these little things she does. I guess this is it, and hopefully in thirty years this will jog my MS lesion-littered memory centers and I will have perfect mental pictures of how stinkin' cute this kid was (is).
Hazel waves. She waves at every little thing she sees. Every time we go get her in the morning or after a nap we have to walk her around the room so she can wave at each little thing. She doesn't do that grabby kid wave in which they just open and close their palms- she waves her hand and arm like The Queen. We call it her Miss America wave, and it is adorable. When she was in the hospital, the nurses would take her out to the nursing station so they could keep each other company and give us a break. Hazel would just sit there and wave to all the nurses and all the other kids as they walked the loop on the unit, post surgery. She doesn't smile when she does it- in fact, she looks very serious. So serious that you have to laugh. when she does something "bad", like try to eat the extension cord and I yelp , "NO!" she gets nervous and startled and turns around and waves at me. When the disposal runs and the noise scares her, she waves at it.
She is clapping! It's so funny because she does it whenever she hears any music, and when she is happy. So she will get startled, wave at what scared her and we say something like, "Hi, disposal!" for her and she gets excited and claps. Rinse, repeat. All day, and I still can't get enough.
This kid really loves music. She sits with her legs bent under her and bonuses up and down on her butt clapping to any sort of music. Right now I am playing a lot of Krishna Das, Armenian folk music, Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins, Bon Iver, Magnetic Fields and Morphine. She even started bopping around to Sonic Youth. Go figure, but she has good taste. I am taking her to Music Together classes and she is loving it. I didn't know how it would go for her, but she is doing well! They give you two CD's of all the songs in that curriculum, one for the car and one for home, and we listen to it a lot. The songs are great and she really enjoys it when I sing them to her throughout the day now that she recognizes them.
She is starting to stand on her own after pulling up, but she doesn't know it yet. Once she figures out what she is doing, it's only a matter of time before she takes off running. As it is she crawls faster than I can run.
She is feeding everything to everyone. Food, her pacifier, her bottle, lint, dog hair...everything she can pick up, she feeds to me, her dad, the dogs. She has caught on to the fact that the dogs ill hang around and give her the desperately wanted attention if she feeds them, so she has really started to enjoy handing them little pieces of her food and getting them to lick her hands so she can laugh. She even tries to feed me my own necklace, and hilarity ensues.
Her language skills are developing so rapidly. She is saying "mamamamama" at me and "dadadada" at Jamie but she is also mimicking other sounds and movements we make with out mouths. The other day, she said DOG! Seriously! Jamie and I were both there. She was in her booster seat, eating and of course the dogs were milling about her and she pointed at them and we said, "dog", and then she said, in a cute hesitant whisper, "dog". We nearly died.
I'm trying to take advantage of her mimicking phase by attempting to teach her to blow kisses, high five and do a terrorist fist bump. We'll see how that one goes. She sure is cute stuff...